Let’s Cook History: Enlightenment Dining

Under Louis XIV at the Palace of Versailles, the standards for all courts in Europe were set. Unparalleled banquets, fuelled by Cantini’s horticultural innovations in the palace’s gardens, were the foundations for the quality-emphasised dishes provided for the aristocracy. For the less rich, artists such as Molière made do with soups and hearty broths, to provide the sustenance for their creativity.

This was until the first shipment into Marseille of coffee, which became renowned for its brain stimulation. The fondness for peas and chantilly cream amongst the upper classes contrasted the prevalence of potatoes, previously seen as only fit for livestock, amongst the lower classes. A chocolate obsession and the democratisation of sugar were other noticeable and lasting trends. We discover the origins of the first ever sandwich, see the developments of coffee houses, a desire for dining out in restaurants and the tendency for sauces to accompany dishes.


  • Year: 2006
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: VM
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France

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